Salt Lake Tribune

12 January 1914

Page 4 Editorials

 

 

 

 

Monday, January 12, 1914

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INVITING CRIME.

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††††††††††† Two atrocious crimes within the last few days serves to emphasize one part of Chief Grantís annual report. He pointed out that false reports circulated during the recent elections have caused criminals of the more desperate sort to seek out Salt Lake as a comparatively safe place for their operations. [Missing sentence, will have to find original again]. They are in large measure responsible for the crime which cost John G. Morrison and his son their lives, and for that other crime of a few days previous when a woman teacher was bound and tortured by a brutal thief who proceeded to rob her home at his leisure.

††††††††††† The information contained in Chief Grantís report prompted The Tribune to predict a [missing words] the people to beware of burglars, sneak-thieves and confidence men. The Tribune also stated that for a short time at least the police would have their hands full as a result of the invasion by the criminal element. It is deplorable that this situation must be ascribed to base politics. It is not our disposition to exaggerate the political phase of the crisis of to pretend that serious crimes would be wholly absent if political tricksters had made no wild promises at the last election. Nevertheless, the criminal element, who are kept acquainted with police and political conditions in all the large cities of the country by a nation wide system of information, have come to the conclusion that Salt Lake City is a fertile field for their evil endeavor.

††††††††††† As the Chief of Police stated, the reports of a wide-open town and the [missing word] of the lid were absolutely false. It was a forgone conclusion that no matter which set of candidates triumphed at the polls the laws would continue to be enforced with the customary rigor. It will require some time to convince the criminal element that Slat Lake is an unhealthy place for them to ply their black arts. The effect of the false reports can be counteracted only in the meting out of stern justice to all malefactors. This is the only course to convince the criminal element that the reports circulated during the elections were untrue. Bitter experience is the only school in which the thieves and thugs can learn that Salt Lake City is not to be their playground. It must be impressed upon them by strict enforcement of the laws that they cannot live here even for a brief period with out suffering the full consequence of their misdeeds.

††††††††††† Some of those who circulated false reports did so needlessly. They did not imagine for a moment, perhaps, that the information would be spread broadcast and that a carnival of crime might result. They probably indulged the belief that they were executing a clever and harmless political ruse. Others were not so ignorant. Veterans in the political game, they knew what to expect, but the conscience of these men are so scared by a lifetime of contact with the underworld that they probably will not even suffer momentary remorse for their offending.

††††††††††† The police should have the support and sympathy of all good citizens in this crisis. If no unseemly criticisms are indulged in, and if the efforts of the police are seconded earnestly we shall be able to rid the city of the criminal element in a few weeks and to enjoy the immunity from serious crime, which formed the bright theme of Chief Grantís report. He was able to take credit to the department for a quiet year, and we trust that the annual report of next year will be able to record the swift annihilation of criminality and succeeding months of Salt Lakeís customary peace and good order.